External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday attributed the socioeconomic revolution India underwent in the past decade to the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The EAM, who is on an official visit to the UK, acknowledged the transformations in the world, the UK, and the evolving India-UK relationship and also emphasised the pivotal role played by PM Modi in shaping the nation’s trajectory.
Outlining the significant impact of PM Modi’s initiatives over the last decade, EAM Jaishankar emphasised that the cumulative effect of these efforts has led to a socioeconomic revolution in India.
“I began by saying the world has changed, our relationship has changed, the UK has changed, and India has changed. So you may ask me what has changed in India. You know the answer. The answer is Modi,” said EAM Jaishankar while addressing a Diwali reception in London.
He elaborated on a range of transformative policies, including Beti Padhao Beti Bachao, Jandhan Yojana, Awas Yojana, Digital India, Startup India, and Skill India campaigns.
“The long answer actually lies in this range of initiatives that all of you have heard about for the last ten years. Initiatives like Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao; initiatives about building toilets for girls, the Jandhan Yojana, financial inclusion, about building houses, the Awas Yojana…And these other campaigns…Digital India campaign…the Startup India campaign, the Skill India campaign…it is when you connect these dots, it’s really when you see the cumulative impact of all of this on the lives of people, that is the change which is underway in India,” the EAM added.
Jaishankar also reflected on the comprehensive changes witnessed in the past ten years, noting that the government, nearing the completion of its second term next year, has created almost as many new universities and colleges as the country had in the previous 65 years.
“So when we look at the last ten years, because by next year the government would be completing its second term. These ten years have actually been a socioeconomic revolution in India…we have actually created almost as many new universities and colleges in the last ten years as the country had in the previous 65 years,” he said.
Addressing the evolving India-UK relationship, Jaishankar expressed the need to reframe the partnership in light of the profound changes in both nations. He emphasised the importance of preparing for a contemporary era and exploring new convergences to unlock the unrealized potential between India and the UK.
“We are today trying to reframe the relationship between India and the UK. We are trying to do so because, in the last many decades, our two countries have each changed profoundly. We have changed in ourselves, our relationships, our linkages, and approaches to the world; therefore, it is important that we prepare a partnership for a contemporary era in which we look to explore new convergences to see if there is unrealistic potential out there…,” said Jaishankar.
EAM Jaishankar arrived in Britain on Saturday and will conclude his visit on November 15.
India and the UK have a “growing bilateral partnership”, the MEA stated in a release earlier, noting that the two countries launched a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2021.
“India and the UK share a warm and thriving relationship. The India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was launched in 2021 along with the India-UK Roadmap 2030,” the MEA stated in its release.
“The Roadmap is a commitment to a partnership that delivers for both countries. EAM’s visit will give new impetus to the friendly ties between the two countries,” it added.
Significantly, India and the UK are negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Talks for FTA between India and the UK started in 2022 and the 12th round of negotiations took place from August 8-31 this year.